After my post on Does Blog Design Really Matter? and Improve Your Blog Design Without Spending a Dime, I’ve been asked for advice on a multitude of things.
One of the most commonly asked questions focuses on Twitter and how the popular social networking site can be used to expand your blog.
I’ll start with this. Twitter is a beautiful thing. 140 characters never had a meaning until Twitter chirped along. That little blue bird is recognized by almost everyone with an online presence. But though many of us know of it, and maybe even have an account on it, do we all know how to use it?
Twitter is simple, more simple than Facebook, in my opinion. Simple to use with a simple interface (though there have been some recent changes that may have left a majority of us confused). You can tell the world what you’re doing using 140 characters or less, tweet a picture of your lunch, or tweet a URL to a website you just want to share.
But what about those of us who want to use Twitter as a marketing tool? More specifically, as a way to promote a recent blog post?
Ever since I started my blog in September of 2010, I’ve been utilizing Twitter. And it works. And I know it. One way I’ve tested this theory out is by noting the number of my current views, tweeting a link, and then checking it again seconds later. Yes, seconds later.
If you’re reading this, then you’re most likely a book blogger, like me. Let’s say you just wrote a review for… The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. You can tweet it as “Review: THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins – http://mylinktothereview.com” and get twenty hits. Or, you can tweet it as “The most riveting novel to hit YA. Read more at http://mylinktothereview.com” and get fifty hits. I’m not saying that’s how you should do it. But make your tweet eye-catching and attention-grabbing. You want your followers to see the link and actually click on it, not read it and move on to the next tweet on their massive timeline.
Another example of something I’ve started using to get more hits is in the way I tweet about my In My Mailbox. Instead of “IMM #199 – linkhere.com” I’ve started tweeting it as “Circuses and Chaos linkhere.com”. The word Circus will catch someone’s eye. And of course, they’re going to want to read more than the letters IMM.
But as a book blogger, you’re more than just the words ‘book reviewer’. You’re a human and you want your readers to think of you that way. So in between those tweets pointing to your reviews and interviews, put some life in there. While I have never posted an image of myself online, there are other ways I engage with my followers. I may not have a large following as yet (though its a fairly good size of 1300), I’ve learned ways to get more hits using my tweets.
Tweet about your brother stepping on your toe. Tweet about that little bird that fell from a tree. Tweet about the color of your car and the color of the sky. Talk to people, engage with those you follow and those who follow you. Interacting on Twitter goes a long way – I personally don’t follow any accounts that only post links to their recent posts. So interact. You’ll gain a bigger audience and pick up some friends along the way.
Twitter is powerful if you know how to use it.